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Get Your Tiny Home Connected: How to Get Internet

Get Your Tiny Home Connected: How to Get Internet

get your tiny home connected surfing the web

The tiny home movement is a practical campaign that inspires people to live a more affordable and sustainable living. While many have already joined the movement, a lot of people are still skeptical about the tiny house lifestyle because of the challenges it imposes. 

One of the concerns of tiny house aspirants is how to get fast and reliable internet service to their tiny home. 

This article will go through the ins and outs of how to get your tiny home connected. 

Get Your Tiny Home Connected

Sure, when your tiny home is near or within the grid, connecting to the internet is easy as pie. It’s even easier for tiny homes that are affixed in a permanent property and is on the grid. 

If you live in the city, you have a lot of internet options to choose from. However, the farther you are from the city, and the closer you are to living off-the-grid, the more difficult it is to get connected. 

And chances are, once you connect to the internet, the experience would not be as smooth as it would be in a regular home within the city. 

If you live in someone’s backyard, then the easiest option would be to share their service — only, of course, if they agree to it. More on this will be discussed later. 

How to Get Internet Connection for Your Tiny Home

The good news is that you can still connect to the internet even if you’re living off-grid. There are a few internet options you can pick, but take note that each has its pros and cons. 

Wired Cable Internet

If you live within a city or other developed residential areas, you can connect to the internet via a traditional cable hook-up (or DSL). It is the easiest and most affordable solution to get connected. 

wired connection tiny house

Wired internet connection has some advantages over WiFi. There’s no denying that WiFi has gotten so much faster over the last few years. And besides, WiFi helps us handle most of our everyday tasks. 

Wired connection is way slower than WiFi, but it excels in some ways. A DSL connection can transfer files faster between devices on your network compared to WiFi. This is because your internet connection won’t matter on this, but only the speeds your local network hardware can provide. 

Local speed is important in some aspects, including:

  • If you have devices streaming from a media server of your network, a wired connection will give you a great boost in terms of the quality of the stream.
  • Backups are way faster over a wired connection. This is helpful, especially if you have a lot of devices that back up to a backup server or shared hard drive. 

When it comes to the internet connection, it’s not only the speed that we should consider but also the latency. 

Latency is an important factor. In case you don’t know, latency pertains to the delay or the amount of time it takes to send traffic from one device to another. Latency, in speed tests, is referred to as ping rate and is usually measured in milliseconds (ms). 


  • Faster transfer speed
  • A good option for a home office
  • Connection speed is usually faster than wireless
  • Offers more security than wireless


  • Can be expensive and difficult to set up
  • Your location is limited as you need to connect to a cable or port
  • Sharing files can be less convenient as you must be cabled
  • Requires lots of cables and ports
  • Not convenient for public use

Wireless Internet

Wireless internet has become widely used all around the globe. It offers prestige convenience and fast connection, making daily internet tasks seamless. 

You can connect several devices to your wireless network without the need for cables and ports. You can connect your laptops, tablets, and smartphones to it with the freedom to move around freely while still maintaining a strong connection. 

Using your mobile phone to get a wireless connection is the most common option, especially if you have a good mobile data plan. This is called a hotspot. 

The only problem with using your phone to get a wireless connection is that you cannot simultaneously use it as a phone. But of course, in every problem, there’s a solution. You can use 4G LTE or data-only plans wireless routers to free up your phone for regular use. 


  • You can move around your tiny house while still connected to your wireless network. 
  • The wireless network does not require cables 
  • Several devices can connect to your wireless internet connection
  • You can use phones as a mobile hotspot, saving you money
  • Most establishments (like cafes and restaurants) offer free wireless connection
  • You can transfer files to other devices connected to the wireless network without the need for cables


  • Transferring files is usually slower than a wired connection
  • You may experience slow connection if there are too many devices connected to the network
  • Wireless connection has higher latency. 
  • Items in your tiny house may block the signal and cause lowered speeds
  • Interference from other electrical devices can also slow down your internet speed
  • The wireless connection usually loses signal. When streaming, dropped signals may cause your media to buffer. 
  • In mobile hotspots, the strength of your wireless connection depends on your location. If you’re in a secluded area, getting a signal may be hard. 
  • Using your phone as a hotspot means you cannot use your phone simultaneously. 
  • A wireless connection is less secured. Hackers may access your information and bandwidth. 

There are things you can do to reduce interference and enjoy seamless browsing. 

Wireless connection works like magic, but it is not. It’s basically radio waves. And there’s a lot of factors that can interfere with radio waves, which causes your wireless connection to become slow, weak, and unreliable. 

The common cause of interference is to remove obstructions around your router. Here are the things you can do:

  • Put your router in the middle of your house. 
  • Position the antenna of your router vertically. 
  • Place your router in an elevated area. You’ll get a better reception if the router is on your table, not on the floor. 
  • Household appliances like cordless phones and microwave ovens can cause interference. Do not place your router near household devices that may interfere with your signal.

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet is probably one of the best internet options. As the name implies, your connection will come directly from a satellite up above the skies, which means no problems here on Earth can affect your connection. 

get your tiny home connected satellite internet

Also, what’s best about satellite internet is that you can still get reliable internet connection no matter where you are — be in on top or bottom of a mountain. The only downside is that you won’t get internet connection if the signal is blocked, say if you’re underground. 

Satellite connection is perfect for tiny housers who want to put down roots in a secluded area or a place far from the grid. 

However, compared to wireless and cabled connections, the speed of a satellite connection is still far worse. Satellite connections may not be the best option for modern-day users. The slow bandwidth is not suitable for streaming videos or even for playing online games. 

Many companies offer satellite internet. The plans are usually tiered like mobile data plans, but cheaper. 


  • Satellite internet is available in most areas, especially in places that cable and wireless connection cannot reach. 
  • The prices are more affordable.
  • If you use satellite connection in a basement, you may experience dropped signals or slow bandwidth.
  • A satellite connection can accommodate several devices, so everyone in the household can connect to the internet all at the same time. 
  • It is easy to use. Your service provider will set up your account and install a receiver outside your tiny house. Once finished, you’re ready to go. 
  • Satellite internet does not require additional equipment. 


  • The Fair Access Policy (FAP) limits the speed of a user’s daily internet use. That means during peak hours of use, you will experience a slower connection that it would be if you’re using DSL or cable connection. 
  • The weather can cause your network to slow down. Rain, snow, clouds, and even high winds can contribute to lost data signals, which causes an interruption in your connection. 
  • The strength of your internet connection will depend on the placement of the receiver. There must be no trees blocking the receiver. 
  • Rain can cause interference referred to as rain fade. This can lead to slower download and upload speeds and intermittent connections. 
  • Acquiring satellite internet can be expensive. The installation can also add to the total cost, unless if it’s provided by the service provider.

Connect to a Neighbor or Host

Sharing internet connection with your relative, friend, or landlord who lives near you may be the easiest solution to stay connected. 

This is the best option if you live in their backyard. Connecting to your neighbor’s wireless connection is a good option, but because of the distance, you may get a slower connection.

The best and most reliable method would be to string an ethernet cable from their house to your tiny home. With that cable, you can set up your wireless router for your house. 

Using this method, you do not have to piggyback to the main router since you already have a direct cable to your home. You also don’t have to worry about the signal strength. As long as the modem in the main house is functioning, then you’re good to go. 

Of course, this option is only viable if your neighbor agrees to this kind of set up as this would affect their internet usage. 

A few reasons why your neighbor might not agree to this set up are:

  • Sharing their internet connection means sharing the bandwidth. The more devices connected to the network, the slower the connection and the higher latency there will be. 
  • Whatever the reason they have an internet connection — be it for business, work, or entertainment purposes — they do not want irritating internet interruptions, which will likely happen if there are too many devices connected to the network. 


  • Connecting to a neighbor’s internet network means you do not have to subscribe to a new service. 
  • You’ll be able to save money by sharing an existing connection. 
  • It is the cheapest and easiest solution to get your tiny home connected. 
  • You can connect to their internet connection wirelessly.


  • If the wireless connection is slow, you may need to use a cable to connect to their network. This requires an additional cost and setting up. 
  • You will have to rely on your “host” keeping their router working. 
  • If a problem occurs, you will have to rely on your host to get the problem fixed. 
  • If the host has already a lot of users in their household, then you may only be getting a slow bandwidth, which can affect your overall surfing experience. 
  •  This may not be the best option if you need an internet connection for work or business as interruptions and speed are not reliable.

How Much Data Do You Need?

Internet providers usually offer network connections in a tiered plan. So before getting an internet connection, it helps if you determine how much data you will actually need. 

netflix data usage

Here are some ideas to help you determine your data usage:

  • One gig of data lets you send 100,000 emails without attachments.
  • One gig of data lets you stream music for 10 hours. 
  • You can watch a lot of YouTube videos, but the number depends on the quality of the videos. 
    • 6 hours of 240p videos;
    • 4 hours of 360p videos;
    • 2 hours of 480p videos;
    • 1 hour of 720p videos; and
    • 30 minutes of 1080p videos
  • In one gig of data, you can stream on Netflix or Hulu for several hours, again, depending on the quality of the movies. 
    • 3 hours of movie per gig on low quality
    • 2 hours of movie per gig on medium quality
    • 30 to 45 minutes of movie per gig on high quality

As you can see, streaming videos uses a lot of data. You can cut your bill down pretty big if you can control that. To save data, you can turn off the autoplay feature of your browser or social media apps like Facebook.

And if you’re going to watch videos, you can reduce your data usage if you watch them on low quality. 

Do You Really Need an Internet Connection?

The internet has made several tasks easy and convenient. 

Thanks to the internet, you can now easily connect with your loved ones who live far away, shop without leaving your home, watch countless movies and TV series, work remotely, or manage your business in the comfort of your home.

surfing internet

Could we live without the internet? We guess not. The majority of people and businesses use the internet to perform everyday tasks. 

To have an internet connection or not is entirely your choice. Maybe you need it for your business or work, or maybe you just want it for entertainment or to stay connected with everyone else. Or maybe you don’t see it as a necessity or want to avoid the internet of things. 

An internet connection is not obligatory, but it sure is a nice thing to have. 


There are lots of ways to get your tiny home connected to the internet regardless if you live on or off the grid. 

Each option has advantages over the other. 

Cabled connection offers a more secure internet experience and faster file transfer between the devices connected to the network. Wireless connection, on the other hand, offers mobility and wider accessibility. 

Satellite internet gets your tiny home connected regardless if you’re in a secluded place. And if none of these options fit the bill, you can ask your neighbor if you can connect to their internet. 

Related Questions

What is the fastest satellite internet? 

The speed of your internet connection depends on your area. In some places, Viasat offers speeds up to 12 Mbps, and HughesNet, another satellite internet provider, delivers speeds up to 25 Mbps. 

How can I access free internet?

You can ask your neighbor if you can connect to their network. But if that’s not an option, you can go to cafes and restaurants that offer free WiFi connection (usually only for customers, though). 

Most public libraries offer free internet access. 

The 5 Best Tiny Home Documentaries You Must Watch

The 5 Best Tiny Home Documentaries You Must Watch

tiny house documentaries

As someone interested in joining the other thousand tiny home dwellers, you’re probably curious about what a tiny house lifestyle is like. And it’s not wrong to get intrigued. It’s the first thing you want – get ideas of the tiny house movement you will get yourself into. 

The good news is that there are a lot of tiny home documentaries you can watch. Not only do these shows highlight the best things about the movement but also all other things that you need to know – from designing to the actual cost. They will also give you insights about the challenges and, of course, the perks. 

It’s great to know that the tiny house movement is not something uncommon. Countless people all around the globe have joined the campaign and are enjoying the best of a simple, conservationist lifestyle!

Learn more about the ins and outs of the tiny house lifestyle by viewing, if not all, at least one or two tiny home documentaries listed below. 

5. We The Tiny House People

Released in April 2012, We The Tiny House People features the journey of people that are looking for a simple, self-sufficient, minimalist living by building a shelter in trailers, converted garages, tool sheds, caves, riverboats, and even former pigeon coops. 

Internet-video personality, TV producer, and director Kirsten Dirksen opens our minds to know the real deal of living in a tiny house. 

The documentary has an 81-minute runtime, enough to let you understand the difficulties many people have experienced in their pursuit of living in a sustainable, off-grid, tiny home. 

You may watch this fascinating documentary on Kirsten’s YouTube channel.

In the film, Kirsten tells us what inspired her to make the documentary and what moved her to join the tiny house movement. 

“When my parents moved a couple [of] hours north of San Francisco to retire, all of us offspring complained it was too far from the city and too sleepy.”

“Then, during one extended summer visit, I started taking my camera out looking for stories… and I began to discover that their new County best-known for its wineries and agriculture was an epicenter of a growing underground movement.”

She continued, “When I first interview my first tiny house person, I had no idea I was about to enter a parallel universe and that I would become trapped here for several years to come.”

4. Living Small: A Tiny House Documentary

Directed by Stephen Hewitt, this documentary explores the world of tiny houses through the lives of people at the forefront of the movement. 

The documentary focuses the spotlight on Anderson Page as he builds a tiny house for the first time. There he discovered the challenges and the rewards of building one’s shelter. 

Living Small: A Tiny House Documentary gives us an alternative meditation on the spaces we live on. It also helps us answer the question: could we live more with less? 

The documentary was released in 2014 and was taken in the USA. The 41-minute runtime will glue you in your seat. You may watch the documentary on Amazon Prime Video

3. Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary

The mortgage-free lifestyle of tiny house living has inspired many to join the movement. It’s practical, which is perfect for families trying to make the most of their small life. 

The documentary Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary dives into the lives of four people as they build their own tiny homes. Their goal? To live a mortgage-free lifestyle. As they create their tiny houses, they would soon discover that living tiny is more than just the house. 

Ben faces the challenge of building a tiny home himself. While the couple Nikki and Mitchell need to adapt to a small house with their pet dogs. And as they build their new petite home, they encounter problems that test their relationship.

Meanwhile, Karin discovers that a tiny home is an excellent alternative to traditional homes. 

She said, “I could build a tiny house with that money [thousands of dollars], which means that I can now pursue the type of medicine based on the gift economy.”

The documentary shows us the doubts and the difficulties these four people had faced. 

“In the beginning, I kept thinking, am I doing this right? What if I’m messing this up? Am I gonna ruin it?'” Karin said. 

You probably might agree with what Karin has said in the documentary: “The movement is about freedom from debt and options.”

What does it take to live small? Get the answer by watching this 2015 tiny house documentary produced by Tiny House Film

To see the film, visit www.smallbeautifulmovie.com. 

Meanwhile, sit back, relax, and enjoy this Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary trailer. 

This documentary has a 68-minute runtime. It was released on April 30, 2015, and was directed by Jeremy Beasley. 

2. TINY: A Story About Living Small

The documentary TINY: A Story About Living Small takes us to the life of two young couples who have decided to downsize their lives by building a tiny home. 

Turning 30, Christopher is thinking about putting down roots. He’s been inspired by tiny houses and wants to try the tiny house lifestyle himself. But there’s a problem: Christopher hasn’t built anything and has no constructing experience. 

The film gives us a more profound answer about what home really is and how we can find it. The documentary also highlights other families who have transitioned their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space. 

The film also raises questions about innovation, sustainability, and the changing American dream. 

Getting back to Christopher, do you think he will succeed in his pursuit?

Interestingly, Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller (both starred in the documentary) are the winners of the Green Planet Award in the Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2013.

The documentary was also a nominee in the Audience Award in the SXSW Film Festival in 2013. 

Watch the documentary on YouTube as released by Film Courage. 

TINY: A Story About Living Small was released on March 9, 2013, and was taken in the USA. The film has a 66-minute runtime. Both Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller directed the documentary. 

1. Summer of (Family) Love: Tiny Home VW-Roadtrip Documentary

living in a campervan

Kirsten Dirksen, the director of We The Tiny House People, has released yet another documentary about tiny houses. 

The film features Kirsten and her family of five. They ventured the road with the attempt to live deliberately with just the essentials. 

Kirsten and her husband bought a VW Westfalia campervan (cheap on Craigslist) and moved in. Kirsten wanted to see just how much shelter does her family needs. 

The family limited themselves to one backpack per person. The kids have to learn how to make the most of their 50-square-foot mobile home. 

The roadtrip documentary features tiny house dwellers like Dee Williams, Tammy and Logan, and Steve Sauer. 

Williams used to live in a 2000-square-foot home with three bedrooms. After traveling to Guatemala, she realized just how her home felt too big, so she built a tiny house to fit herself. 

It turned out to be an 84-square-foot tiny house on wheels. 

Tammy and Logan, on the other hand, live a simplified life when they downsized from a two-bedroom apartment to a 128-square-foot home on wheels. 

Sauer crafted a micro-apartment. He used his skills as a designer of airplane interiors to sketch a home that could fit within 182-square feet. 

As Kirsten and her family hit the road, they realized a lot about living simply. 

Other Tiny Home Shows You Must Watch

Tiny House Nation on FYI

Renovation experts John Weisbarth and Zach Giffin travel across America to strut ingenious small spaces and the innovative people that live in them. They also helped new families design and built their own tiny dream house in an area no larger than 500 square feet. 

The Tiny House Nation is not your typical design show. The show teaches us that size doesn’t always matter. Instead, it’s the creativity that really counts. 

The show is currently in its third season. Watch full episodes here

You may also watch the show on Netflix. 

How To Live Mortgage Free with Sarah Beeny on Netflix

Sarah Beeny is a real estate expert and a TV presenter. In How to Live Mortgage Free, she meets with clever property owners sharing their colorful stories about how to live a mortgage-free life. 

The show features creative individuals who managed to convert small spaces (like garages) into a living and working space. 

Tiny House, Big Living on HGTV

Tiny House, Big Living gives us a plethora of ideas on how we can turn a small space into something rather stunning and captivating… a tiny home with BIG design and details. 

The segment shares houses no larger than 500 square feet. In the past few years, the popularity of tiny houses has skyrocketed. And that’s because they are economical, environmentally-friendly, and encourage people to live simply and minimally. 

Tiny House, Big Living introduces us to cool design and ideas that you may get inspiration to when building your next tiny home. 

Check out the collection of videos of Tiny House, Big Living on their YouTube channel. 

Beautiful Off-Grid Tiny House Truck Tour on YouTube

In this film, Adam and Sian take us on a tour in their beautiful, off-grid tiny house truck that is mostly built using recycled materials. 

The house track is well lit and is full of space. It highlights an open-plan kitchen, living and bedroom area, and a fancy shower set-up. 

Learn about the challenges the couple had faced as they transitioned into this simpler living. 

Tiny House World on Amazon Prime

Tiny House World is a TV series that features prospective homeowners looking for an ideal mini dream home in different parts of the world, such as in Paris, France, Dublin, and Sydney. 

Watch the full episodes on Amazon Prime

Tiny House Builders on HGTV

Aside from making tiny houses, Derek Diedricksen also builds micro masterpieces out of recovered materials. Derek prides himself on creating the tiniest structures with stunning design and architecture that make the most of their surroundings. 

Avid fans of the show follow Derek as he shows off his craftsmanship in creating a tiny paradise home in just a few hundred square feet. 

Get More Tiny House Guides!

Sure, documentaries, TV shows, and films about tiny houses can help you get a better idea of the whole tiny house concept. They are a great way to learn more ideas and gain insights about the more important things, like the downsides, the rewards, and also the potential shortcomings that may come along the way. 

Some, however, believe that these shows only reveal the surface of what it’s really like to join the tiny house movement. 

Whether the shows are staged or not, it’s not for us to say. But there’s one thing we know: you may still get comprehensive guides and ideas from books. 

Below we have listed some tiny house books for inspiration and action. 

The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir

Dee Williams (featured in Kirsten’s show A Summer of (Family) Love) published a book entitled The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir to explain what was it like for him when she joined the tiny house movement. 

Her life, prior to the movement, was challenging enough already. She had a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. At the age of 41, she was diagnosed with a heart condition. By then, she was reminded that life is short, and time is, surely, precious.

Right then, right there, she wanted to spend her life with the people and things that she truly loved and valued. Though she loved her home in the Pacific Northwest, she didn’t want to live the rest of her life in paying the mortgage and constant repairs. 

Read her book and learn the things she had sacrificed to live a simple, tiny life finally. 

Download her book on Kindle or get your copy.

Tiny House Design & Construction Guide

You may be an expert in tiny house building, or maybe you’re not. Regardless, the Tiny House Design & Construction Guide by Dan Louche will tell you all about the nuts and bolts of building a beautiful tiny home. 

Dan Louche is the owner of Tiny Home Builders. Having been building tiny houses since 2009, Dan shares his insights and techniques in building small homes. 

Dan strives to help would-be builders to gain knowledge and confidence in building their own homes. 

Get your very own copy of Dan’s book Tiny House Design and Construction Guide here

Tiny House Floor Plans: Over 200 Interior Designs for Tiny Houses

Need more ideas to sketch your tiny future home? 

Michael Janzen shares with us 200 interior design for petite homes of sizes from 8×12 to 12×24. His book serves as a handbook for the building process. 

Purchase your copy here

Final Takeaway

Tiny house documentaries, shows, and even books are excellent guides that can help you get more ideas about the small house lifestyle. 

You see, moving into the tiny home movement is no picnic. It requires a lot of planning and serious commitment. It’s great to learn real experiences from real people who have ventured into the movement. 

Related Questions

How much does it cost to buy a tiny house?

The average cost of a tiny house ranges from $10,000 to $23,000 depending on the size, location, and design. You can find tiny houses that are no larger than 196-square feet that are $12,000 or lower. 

Is it cheaper to build or buy a tiny house?

The cost of your tiny house depends on if you build it or buy it. Tiny houses with luxurious designs can go as high as $150,000. Simple tiny homes can range from $12,000 to $35,000.